For most people, hitting a patch of the blues on occasion is just part and parcel of life. Everyone experiences ups and downs, but some of us may have difficulty rebounding from the lows. In those instances, the prolonged periods of persistent sadness or feelings of hopelessness can be so debilitating that many areas of life will be impacted.
When someone becomes stuck in a depressive episode it is important to know that there are sources of professional help to guide him or her through it. Recognizing that one needs help is the first step in recovery from depression. A depression therapist Orange County is an excellent place to begin the process of reclaiming your quality of life.
How is Depression Diagnosed?
It is important to distinguish between clinical depression and a temporary condition that is directly related to a difficult life event. For example, the death of a loved one, job loss, or other unsettling event will negatively affect most people’s mood for at least several days. On the other hand, in order for a diagnosis of depression to be arrived at the individual will have experienced a cluster of symptoms that cause impairment in functioning for a minimum of two weeks.
The DSM-5 identifies nine such symptoms. When five or more of these symptoms persist for two weeks or more, it is considered a depressive disorder. These symptoms include:
- Feelings of sadness, despair, or hopelessness that persist most of the day
- Loss of interest in regular activities or hobbies
- Slowed thinking or body movements
- Change in eating habits leading to weight gain or loss
- Change in sleeping habits, either insomnia or hypersomnia
- Feelings of shame or guilt that are inappropriate to the situation
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Persistent thoughts of death or suicide
Types of Depression
There are different features that distinguish one depressive disorder from another. These include:
Major depressive disorder: MDD is described above
Postpartum depression: Affects 10-15% of new mothers and features irritability, difficulty bonding with newborn, feelings of inadequacy, insomnia, mood swings, thoughts of harming baby or self
Dysthymia: Also called persistent depressive disorder features milder symptoms of depression but that last two years or longer
Seasonal affective disorder: Depressed mood resulting from decreased exposure to sunlight and vitamin D that causes social withdrawal, fatigue, hopelessness, hypersomnia mood swings
Bipolar disorder: Episodes of depression that occur alternately with manic episodes
What is a Depression Therapist Orange County?
A depression therapist Orange County is a mental health expert who will assist a patient who is struggling with depression using psychotherapy. Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is usually provided in a one-on-one session with the therapist, although group therapy is also an option.
The therapist will help the individual process through whatever emotional pain, past or present, which might be responsible for the depression diagnosis. Therapists have an array of different types of therapy they can access depending on the features of the depression.
Through an ongoing series of therapy sessions the depression therapist can guide patients toward examining the issues surrounding the pain points and assist them in making changes in thought patterns, behavior patterns, or both.
How is Major Depression Treated?
The depression therapist is trained to first make an accurate diagnosis that will consider many aspects of functioning, background, mental health history, and physical health. Once a diagnosis is made, the therapist will select an appropriate therapy for achieving the best clinical results. Some of the possible therapies include:
- Psychodynamic therapy. This type of therapy is typically a longer-term therapy where the client’s childhood is examined for possible factors that have resulted in the diagnosis.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT is a short-term therapy that guides clients toward identifying disordered thought patterns that lead to the depression symptoms or self-defeating behaviors.
- Interpersonal therapy. IT focuses on how depression may be a result of problematic interpersonal relating, or the other way around, that the depression has had a negative impact on personal relationships.
- Solutions-focused brief therapy. SFBT helps the individual to stop ruminating over past events that keeps them stuck in depression. Instead, it helps patients look ahead by setting goals that will help them reach a more positive mindset.
Anew Era Psychiatry Provides Effective Depression Therapy
Anew Era Psychiatry is a team of psychotherapists and psychiatrists serving individuals in Orange County, CA. A depression therapist Orange County is tasked with working together with an individual who needs help in managing their depression through talk therapy and other complimentary interventions. At Anew Era Psychiatry, our team is dedicated to providing the professional mental health services appropriate for all shades of depression, including major depressive disorder, postpartum depression, seasonal affective disorder, and dysthymia. For more information about our services, please contact Anew Era Psychiatry today at (949) 577-6853.